and has received a reprehension, though more gentle than it deserved, in a late pastoral letter against the enthusiasm of these days. But however, the reproaches of those men may be so far of use to us, as to be made a fresh incitement to care and diligence in the offices belonging to our function; that, after the example of St. Paul in a like case, we may cut off all occasion of slander from them who desire occasion. And since it is not to be expected, that, amongst such a number of clergymen, there should be, in all, the same degree of zeal and activity in the discharge of their duty; those of them who have been hitherto less zealous and less active than their neighbours, must increase their diligence, upon this, among other motives, that they may cut off all occasion of slander from those who seem not to be ill-pleased with any handle for it. And we must all of us remember, that we cannot do greater justice and honour to our established church, than by making it appear, in fact and experience, that its rules and orders, pursued and invigorated as they always ought to be, are an effectual means of promoting piety and goodness among the members of it; an honour for which it must at all times be mainly indebted to the care and vigilance of parochial ministers.

It is now an hundred years since the like clamours were raised and propagated throughout the nation against the established clergy; as a body lazy and unactive in the work of religion, and whose defects in the discharge of their duty did greatly need to be supplied by itinerant preachers. And these preachers, under a notion of greater zeal and sanctity, and by pretences to more than ordinary measures of the Spirit, drew after them confused multitudes of the lower rank, and did all that was in their

power to lay waste the bounds of parochial communion, and to bring the established service into disgrace. And we cannot have a more pregnant testimony, how mischievous such practices are to religion, and how productive not only of confusion, but of blasphemy, profaneness, and the most wicked and destructive doctrines and practices, than these and the like effects which they then had, as they are set before us at large in the histories of those times. A sufficient warning to all who have a serious concern for religion, and a just regard to public peace and order in church and state, to use their best endeavours to oppose


suppress that spirit of enthusiasm, which is now gone out, and which cannot be opposed and suppressed more effectually than by preserving the bounds of parochial communion, and opposing all breaches upon them; and then by every minister's satisfying his people, in the course of a regular life and a diligent discharge of all duties and offices, pastoral as well as legal, that they need no other instruction, nor any other means and helps for the saving of their souls, than those which the church has provided for them : on supposition, that the people, on their parts, will seriously embrace those means and helps, and religiously conform to the established worship and discipline, and submit to the advice and instructions of those to whom the providence of God has committed the care of their souls.

IV. And for the keeping up this good disposition among your people, let them be made sensible of the excellencies of the public offices of our church; as a service that prises all and every branch of Christian devotion-confession of sins, and declaration of pardon to penitent sinners

a suitable and edifying mixture of psalms and hymns and the scriptures of the Old and New Testament-acknowledgments of our own weakness, and addresses to God for spiritual aid and strength-confessions of faith, and remembrances of duty to God and our neighbour, as set forth in the Ten Commandments, with the prayer after every branch, to incline the heart to the performance of it

-supplications for averting all evil, and prayers for obtaining all good, to soul, body, and estate-intercessions for blessings to others, and thanksgivings for mercies to ourselves-special prayers for the divine blessing upon kings and counsellors, civil magistrates, and spiritual pastors; as those, through whose pious and wise administration, national blessings and benefits, spiritual and temporal, are in the ordinary course of providence conveyed to mankind—together with particular prayers and thanksgivings adapted to particular seasons and occasions to which are added, proper offices for a devout and solemn administration of every Christian ordinance and institution --and the whole conceived, as public liturgies always have been, and always ought to be, in a language that is grave, serious, and expressive; without any of those irregular flights and redundances, from which extempore prayer is seldom free; and least of all, that sort of it, which presumptuously fathers itself upon an immeņiate dictate of the Spirit of God.

I have only to add upon this head, that next to the internal excellencies of the liturgy itself, and that knowledge or rather feeling of those excellencies, which a reverent regard and attention will breed in the heart of every sincere worshipper; next to these, I say, nothing contributes more to the possessing the minds of the people with a due sense of those excellencies, than the minister's giving the offices, throughout, the just advantage of being performed in a solemn, serious, and affectionate


And as to a personal respect to yourselves, and a due regard to your instructions; the apostle has plainly pointed out the way to secure these, when he grounds the obedience and esteem of the people upon the watchfulness and diligence of the pastor. His lesson to the people is, Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves; and why? because they watch for your souls, as they that must give an account. And again, Esteem those who are over you in the Lord, very highly in love; and why? for their work's sake.Where there is a due watchfulness and working on one side, there will very rarely be wanting a due love and esteem on the other.

V. I have taken notice before, that one branch of these pastoral duties, that every minister is bound to discharge, is admonition and reproof; which cannot be performed from the pulpit, without the danger of hardening, instead of reforming. And this being, in truth, the most difficult part of the ministerial office, and yet highly necessary to be done, and also done in such a manner as may make the greatest impression, and give it the most lasting effects; I cannot omit to mention one expedient, which may

make that work less difficult to ministers, and more effectual upon their people. What I mean is, the having in their possession some small tracts against particular vices and the more notorious defects in duty, to be occasionally put into the hands of those who are found to be going on in any habitual sin, either of commission or omission, and so to need a more close and forcible application ; whether it be by way of restraint from vice, or incitement to duty, as the case requires. As this is the gentlest method of proceeding, there is the least hazard of giving offence; and as the tracts themselves are both short and plain, they are most likely to be read and considered ; and they make a much deeper impression upon the mind, than either general admonitions from the pulpit, or particular admonitions by word of mouth. A great variety of tracts, calculated for that use, is constantly provided by the Society

for promoting Christian Knowledgea; the members whereof are entitled to as many as they apply for, at one half of the prime cost; which reduces the price to a trifle. And, that no part of my diocese might want the convenience of being furnished with them as they see occasion, the incumbents of the several market-towns have readily agreed to take the trouble of becoming members of the society, and so have put themselves in a condition to furnish their neighbours, whether clergy or laity, with as many as they shall need.

This may seem, at first sight, to be a matter of small moment, but in the effects it will be found by experience not to be small. And great need there is in this degenerate age to have recourse to all expedients, whether great or small, for putting a stop to the growth of vice and wickedness, and for raising and keeping alive a spirit of religion among us; the first, to avert the judgments of God from falling upon a sinful nation; and the second, to make us a proper object of his mercy and forbearance. Vice is grown bold and headstrong, and has well nigh broken loose from the last restraint, that of shame. And though the powers put into the hand of the civil magistrate for restraining and suppressing it, are very great, the fruit and effect of those powers is found by experience to be very small. Nor is it to be expected, that the spiritual powers should be able effectually to encounter it in the way of discipline and censure, while they are fettered to such a degree, and liable to be interrupted in almost every step they take. And as to the clergy; the utmost they can do in the

of punishment is, in the most prudent and respectful manner, to put the magistrate in mind, that the authority with which he is intrusted is not only for the preserving of peace, but likewise for the punishment of vice; one as a duty he owes to his prince, and the other as a duty he owes to his God. Both these are the duty of civil magistrates ; and it is greatly to be wished, that a due regard may always be had to both in the appointment of them ; and much to be wondered, that any magistrate, who is otherwise a serious person, and frequents the public service of the church, and appears to have a sense of duty in all other respects, should need to be put in mind of this branch of it, when the scripture so expressly charges it


* At their office in Bartlett's Buildings, near St. Andrew's church in Holborn.

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upon him, and when he is so frequently reminded of it in our own liturgy; which makes it the prayer of him and of the whole congregation, “that all who are in autho

rity may truly and indifferently minister justice, to the punishment of wickedness and vice, and to the maintenance of true religion and virtue.”

Upon the whole; till we see a greater probability, that national wickedness and vice will be restrained and kept under in the way of authority, coercion, and censure, the great refuge of religion must be in the parochial clergy; and to their pastoral labours, under the divine blessing, the nation will be chiefly indebted, if vice do not grow triumphant, and God do not visit us with some remarkable judgment; or, which is the heaviest judgment of all, give us over, and remove his candlestick from among us.

This is a melancholy subject; and the thought of national judgments, an uncomfortable scene; but yet no way unfit to be opened and represented before those, who, by their vigilance and activity in their several stations, have it so much in their power to prevent them.

And though you may not find such a measure of success as might be expected from your pastoral labours, be not discouraged, but labour on. Some of the good seed you now sow, though seemingly dead for the present, may hereafter, by the blessing of God, take root, and spring up; or if it do not, you, however, are sure of your reward from God.

The earnest wish of religious and good men always has been, and always will be, to see the world grow better; and it is more peculiarly the duty of the ministers of the gospel to use their best endeavours to make it better. But it must be remembered at the same time, that it is a great work to keep it from growing worse. And therefore, though that part of the vineyard which the providence of God hath committed to your care should not increase in fruitfulness so sensibly as you could wish, do not despond, nor be discouraged, as if you were an unprofitable labourer; but consider, for your comfort, how soon it would be overrun with thorns and briars, (the fruits of the seed sown by the wicked one,) if you did not watch their growth, and use the best methods you can to keep them under, or root them up, and to sow the seeds of religion and piety in their stead.

VI. Next to the care of promoting the practice of religion in our particular stations, there is a general obligation upon us all, to use our best endeavours to preserve and

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